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Preparation of Drager Atlan A350 & GE Carestation 650 anesthesia workstations for MH-susceptible patients

December, 2021: Heiderich, Sebastian; Thoben, Christian; Dennhardt, Nils; Kraub, Terence; Sumpelmann, Robert; Zimmermann, Stefan; Reitz, Michael; Ruffert, Henrik



Patients at risk of malignant hyperthermia need trigger-free anesthesia. Therefore, anesthesia machines prepared for safe use in predisposed patients should be free of volatile anesthetics. The washout time depends on the composition of rubber and plastic in the anesthesia machine. Therefore, new anesthesia machines should be evaluated regarding the safe preparation for trigger-free anesthesia. This study investigates wash out procedures of volatile anesthetics for two new anesthetic workstations: Dräger Atlan A350 and General Electric Healthcare (GE) Carestation 650 and compare it with preparation using activated charcoal filters (ACF).


A Drager Atlan and a Carestation 650 were contaminated with 4% sevoflurane for 90min. The machines were decontaminated with method (M1): using ACF, method 2 (M2): a wash out method that included exchange of internal parts, breathing circuits and soda lime canister followed by ventilating a test lung using a preliminary protocol provided by Dräger or method 3 (M3): a universal wash out instruction of GE, method 4 (M4): M3 plus exchange of breathing system and bellows. Decontamination was followed by a simulated trigger-free ventilation. All experiments were repeated with 8% desflurane contaminated machines. Volatile anesthetics were detected with a closed gas loop high-resolution ion mobility spectrometer with gas chromatographic pre-separation attached to the bacterial filter of the breathing circuits. Primary outcome was time until less than 5ppm of volatile anesthetics and total preparation time.


Time to less than 5ppm for the Atlan was 17 min (desflurane) and 50 min (sevoflurane), wash out continued for a total of 60 min according to protocol resulting in a total preparation time of 96-122 min. The Carestation needed 66 min (desflurane) and 24 min (sevoflurane) which could be abbreviated to 24 min (desflurane) if breathing system and bellows were changed. Total preparation time was 30-73 min. When using active charcoal filters time to less than 5ppm was 0min for both machines, and total preparation time less than 5 min.


Both wash out protocols resulted in a significant reduction of trace gas concentrations. However, due to the complexity of the protocols and prolonged total preparation time, feasibility in clinical practice remains questionable. Especially when time is limited preparation of the anesthetic machines using ACF remain superior.

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